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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
I have read every one of Kristen Heitzmann's books and this one absolutely floored me! It was incredibly good, her best yet. I always think each book is her best and yet she continues to outshine each with the next offering. This book was amazing. I wish I were more creative so that I could describe it better, more like it deserves.

I was pleasantly surprised to see her bring back characters from 'A Rush of Wings' and 'The Still Of Night', books she wrote nearly ten years ago. And it was not just a cameo appearance, either, but a good sit down with old friends.

Morgan Spencer is still grieving over the death of his wife two years earlier when Quinn Reilly enters his life. She buys things as an eBay trader and has bought the contents of a house from the daughter of a deceased woman. She doesn't know that Morgan has just bought the house sight unseen. Quinn is also running from a threat to her life, which is about to become agonizingly real and close.

No more from me about the story line. This one deserves to be read without knowing anymore. Heitzmann has a way of building characters that are so real the reader feels like they are truly people! She knows how to plumb the depth of human emotion, too. I hurt with these folks, laughed with them, cried with them and rejoice with them.

All through the story she weaves the goodness of God and His grace and how He lovingly waits on His children to realize He's been there all the time, waiting for them to grasp onto Him again.

I will be thinking about this book a long time. It's not one of those books you just close the last page on, pick up another book and begin to read. You just have to let it lay there and digest because it was too good to go right into another one right away. This was one of the absolute best books I've read all year. If you miss this book, you've done yourself a great disservice!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2012
Between finishing this book yesterday and writing this review, I had to take a day to recover. While this book would no doubt make an incredible stand-alone novel, I can only review it as a follower to RUSH OF WINGS and STILL OF NIGHT, two other stories I've invested a lot of time and energy into.

Heitzmann brings back Noelle and the Spencer brothers, particularly and especially Morgan, in this riveting, and I mean riveting, story of a man finding a way to live life again. That way comes in the form of a strong and endearing woman, who really rather found him. Quinn may easily be my favorite female character ever of Heitzmann's now, and once again, this story is chock-full of excellent and deep characterization. I can't convince myself they're not real even when I walk away from the book and try.

Heitzmann does an astounding job of drawing us into the pain and heartache of Morgan, the magnetism of his beloved daughter, and the tenderness and hope of Quinn, as they are put in circumstances that no one is fully prepared to handle. Even Morgan's out of his element here, grappling with fear, guilt, change, and risk. To help Quinn with her circumstances, drastic measures are taken without much time to prepare, and their lives will never be the same.

The story starts out hitting us in the hearts, then draws us in as ominous music gets cued by even the first few chapters, and things rapidly begin to unfold. Even as a good book lover, I rarely find a book that's both painful to put down and painful to pick up. This one was. Morgan fans everywhere - come into this with no delusions. It will hurt. But aren't powerful stories supposed to? What I love is that we get to watch his decayed "heart of steel" revive in a real and painful way, then see as he's drawn from his troubles to help someone else, and eventually find healing in that someone else.

One of her greatest books yet, it's definitely more than a play by play of Morgan's revival, as dear admirable Quinn's story is gripping and unexpected. There are definitely multiple layers here as we meet others along the way, whose own stories and troubles weave into Quinn's life and work together to bring about the master piece that is BREATH OF DAWN.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2012
Sometimes a book's plot catches your attention like someone yelling "fire" in a crowd. Other times, a writer's words fill you with warmth, kind of like what happens when you sip a cup of hot cocoa.

Kristen Heitzmann's newest novel, The Breath of Dawn, is like that warm cup of chocolate.a

This book - designed as a stand alone novel - re-introduces readers to characters from two previous books: The Still of the Night and A Rush of Wings, novels which were released in 2003.

This novel showcases the story of Quinn, a woman who lives off the grid - to keep someone she sent to prison from finding her, and Morgan, a man who can control everything in his business world - but not in his personal life.

Through a slow, but deliberate way of storytelling, Heitzmann draws the reader in - as she peels back the layers of both Quinn and Morgan's stories.

Rather than create a "fast pace" novel, Heitzmann instead develops a storyline that has depth. It makes you stop and ponder the next move. It had some surprising twists and turns - in fact a piece of Quinn's past was unexpected - along with the side storyline of RaeAnn.

I'll admit, it took me a while to appreciate the story. I'm used to suspense novels that have a "flash/bang" approach. Instead of racing through this novel, I found myself stopping and simply enjoying the storyline.

In all, I give this novel a solid three and a half. I thought it was a great "stand-alone" novel - in fact, I didn't realize some of the characters (Noelle/Rick & Jill/Morgan) had been previously featured in novels. This is one of the first novels I've read written by Heitzmann. I can see checking out some of her other books in my future!

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of these books by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
This is the third book of one of my favorite (didn't know it was a) series (but so glad it was). This third book holds it's own among the three books, and I could not tell you, if I had to, which one is my favorite. They are all amazing.

While it could be read as a stand-alone, the entire series is so good, I would recommend starting in the beginning of the series with "Rush of Wings" and then "The Still of Night"

Truthfully after minutes into starting the book, I thought, uh-huh, I am not going to like this book AT ALL! However, within the first two chapters, I was just as in to this book as I was the first two.

I fell in love with the original characters Noelle and the Spencer Brothers from the first two books, but my favorite was always, Morgan. This book primarily follows his story-line along with "new girl" Quinn Reilly.

Quinn, is a little quirky (in my opinion) but super lovable. With her past interwoven throughout the book, it's fun to get to know her over time, and to fall in love with her character the same way Heitzmann has drawn us to the other's in this series.

At the risk of saying too much, I have to say I love the purity of the book, even though romantic relationships have been a part of each book, I appreciate the fact that Heitzmann is so careful not to cross a line of purity. Keeping God and the spiritual struggles of each characters throughout the stories makes the characters seem even more real and adds a depth to them that I enjoy reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2012
The Breath of Dawn is the first book I have read by Kristen Heitzmann, and I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it wasn't what I had been expecting. I regularly read Christian fiction with mystery and suspense, but I thought this book was more mystery and suspense with just some Christian undertones. This book is more comparable to some of the contemporary romantic suspense novels I have read than to the Christian romantic suspense novels I have been reading lately. It was still a great read with no language or lewdness and plenty of romance and suspense. The first day I started reading The Breath of Dawn, I ended up reading until 4:00 am because I couldn't put it down!

Business mogul and author Morgan Spencer has taken a two-year hiatus from the office following the tragic death of his wife. When Quinn Reilly stumbles into Morgan's life needing his help dealing with a man from her past, he treats the problem like any of his past business projects, but his offer perturbs her. Soon Quinn's past catches up with her, but she and Morgan aren't prepared for where their choices will take them. With dozens of twists and turns, this story will keep you in suspense until the final chapter.

The Breath of Dawn is actually the third book in Heitzmann's A Rush of Wings series. I have not read the first two books and didn't feel like I was reading the third book in a series. Heitzmann fully develops the main characters in this book while giving you enough of their background to not feel like you are missing anything. If you are one of those readers who must read everything in order, you will definitely want to read A Rush of Wings and The Still of Night before reading The Breath of Dawn because the main characters from the first two books appear in the third book having resolved their main issues, and that may spoil the first two books for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I am a fan of Kristen Heitzmann and have been for some time. The Breath of Dawn introduces Quinn Reilly, an estate buyer and e-bay trader. Quinn finds herself settling in Juniper Falls and making friends, but just when she thinks this could be home, her past catches up to her in a dangerous way. Morgan Spencer, professional problem solver takes interest in Quinn and offers an unorthodox solution. They are soon put to the test as both Quinn and Morgan have to face their pasts in order to move forward.

I was familiar with a couple of the characters from years ago when I read A Rush of Wings and The Still of the Night. It was fun to get reaquainted. The new characters blended perfectly, and both main and secondary characters were well-created. The story was long, but fast-paced. Truthfully, I felt that the supernatural aspect added little to the overall story and could have been left out; however, I did really enjoy the book. Sweet relationships coupled with the danger and drama created beautiful and satisfying character development and growth. The book kept me quite engaged, and I carried my kindle around with me everywhere until I finished it! I would recommend this book as well as this author!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
When I found The Breath of Dawn in my mailbox, I was surprised. I know that I must have requested it, but... well, we won't talk about how forgetful this middle-aged momma can be sometimes. ~smile~ So, I sat down to read. I wasn't interested. Bummer. But, I've got to review it, right? So, I kept reading... prologue, chapter 1, chapter 2.... Then one of my kids wanted attention. Gee, I didn't want to stop reading! Somewhere in there, Kristen Heitzmann made the characters so real to me, I wanted to know where this story was going. By day 2, I found myself on page 86. How'd I find the reading time? You guessed it. I stayed up a bit too late, again.

Day 4, ugh, it's a thick book, and I don't want to put it down!

This is a captivating story line. There are so many threads going, intrigue, supernatural, romance, suspense, murder. I don't even know just how I'd categorize it. I just know that I didn't even want to put it down! I read it in a matter of days. It's a thick book 437 pages. Well worth the time and money in my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2013
I've had my share of disappointments in some of the books I've been reading lately and it was with a curious and wary eye that I picked this one. I really wasn't sure what to expect. Halfway through the beginning though, my curiosity intensified. Halfway through the book, I was already freaking out - in a good way.

What an utterly spectacular book! Every word contributed in keeping me in its grip. Every page I turned left me breathless for more. Nothing enthrals a reader more than finding one of those rare reads that deeply resonates and satisfies in every way, and the very best part of The Breath of Dawn is the romance. It's been a while since I read a work as thick as Kristen's but I happily dived in it as I found that the author used every word to stretch, explore and unravel a tale that just jumped off the page. It's believable and I like that in a story. It's nothing but 437 pages of pure reading goodness.

Morgan and Quinn's relationship is probably as profound as romance gets within a fictional context, and even that is an understatement. I'm not even sure what words would come close to describing it. 'Exquisite' seems to fall a bit short. 'Phenomenal' will probably do. These characters are impeccably well-drawn and their relationship evolves in such a tender, beautiful way that feels almost tangible. It isn't fairy-like, mind you, rather it is a relationship that slowly rises from the ashes of grief as softly as the colors of dawn. Morgan Spencer is in raw need of consolation after the death of his wife, and after an impulsive decision of his and Quinn to engage themselves in a relationship to protect Quinn's life, they both go through a period of questioning their devotion to each other, not knowing where this relationship will lead. It appears both parties have wounds that are still tender and unattended. Heitzmann's take on this type of problem is fascinating, even as she boldly and beautifully shows the sheer delight and wonder of marriage. Readers will soak in the romantic scenes. Nothing crossed the line in my opinion, but the love story in this is edgier than what you'd find in an average Christian romance, which will thrilled those of us who like a good dose of passion in our romances. Did I also mention that the characters are also good friends? Just you wait and see. The bantering, the fun, the very surprising twists, the tender scenes between parent and child, the cuteness of Livie - which shall I mention, you will be barely able to survive! - all of it. It has been months since I've enjoyed discovering a story as much.

Toward the end of the story, suspense heightens as antagonists try to control the outcome of it all. One of them - not even worthy to be named - is truly possessed, despicable, cruel, abominable. An evil spirit incarnated. Yet, in the end, nothing stops the power of Love from redeeming it all― this, is The Breath of Dawn.

More than highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
After reading the first two books I was upset to see that a third book came out and was not going to read it. I wanted the story to stay the way book two ended. It didn't and although it was upsetting, once the story unfolded it was a great read and worth two or three more times to read back through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 24, 2014
Morgan Spencer has built a name and a fortune for himself as the "success guru," turning floundering corporations into impressive profit-makers. Solutions are what he lives for--or used to. After the death of his wife Jill, he's now focused only on his two-year-old daughter Livie ... until he meets Quinn Reilly. A man from her past is out of prison, ready to exact revenge on her for putting him there. Drawn to each other despite themselves, Morgan decides to solve Quinn's problem and Quinn decides to let him. But is this the answer God wants for them? With so much grief in Morgan's past and so much betrayal in Quinn's, how can they find a path through the future together?

This is an unusual offering in the romantic suspense genre, more leisurely paced and driven wholly by the characters. But characters are why I read, and I'm an extreme fan of Kristen Heitzmann's. Morgan Spencer is on my Top Two Heitzmann Heroes list. This is the third book featuring him, though it can be read as a standalone.

Heitzmann has created in Morgan a unique and uniquely flawed hero, a man whose ego and self-loathing are barely balanced (or not so balanced at times), who begins this book wealthy and bereft, devoted and withdrawn. And no one creates character quirks better than Kristen Heitzmann. As much as I love Morgan for his nobility and his mistakes, I also love him for his fast driving and his panic attacks, his impeccable taste in fine dining and his refusal to eat whenever he's stressed, his love of a quiet California beach and his German metal music. He's so nuanced I want to go out into the world and meet him, because surely he exists out there.

Not to ignore Quinn. Morgan's layers probably only exceed hers because we've had three books with him. Quinn has her own contradictions and quirks--stubborn in one situation and yielding the next (but both reactions make sense for who she is), self-conscious about her short stature and unruly hair, terrified of horses and excited to go fishing, guarded out of necessity but yearning to be part of Morgan and Livie's lives.

I love this author for creating real, messed up, individual people rather than safe, sanitized types. Quirks and flaws are two ways she accomplishes this. The other is dialogue. Heitzmann's is witty but not too cool, confrontational but not forced, entertaining and poignant and wholly original. I could read 400 pages of "talking heads" from her and not mind in the least. I wouldn't even need tags to know who was speaking, since each of her characters possesses a distinct voice.

The secondary characterizations also deserve praise, most notably those recurring from the two previous books: Rick and Noelle, of course, but also Consuela, Celia, Livie, and others. Another bit of loveliness here is the setting. Colorado and California are both painted with vibrant detail, as are Morgan and Rick's respective homes. You can feel the opulence in the one and the rugged warmth in the other.

I love the tiny bites of truth found here as Quinn and Morgan work through what is either a God-ordained gift or a terrible mistake. Morgan's broken confession says it all: "I don't know what God expects," something both he and Quinn must wrestle with in more than one area of their lives. Morgan and Quinn fight and flail through the beginning of their relationship, and when God works something beautiful despite their fallenness, glory is given to Him.

I want to give this book five stars because all of the above demand at least four-and-a-half. The plot, though, toppled my suspension of disbelief several times. I simply can't fathom that any law-abiding person, even self-sufficient Morgan Spencer, would learn of Quinn's situation and not immediately call the police. This questionable element might be less glaring if the entire plot didn't hinge on it, but it does. With police protection for Quinn, Morgan's solution wouldn't be necessary, and he and Quinn might never end up together.

That said, I love these characters enough to read this book again and again, never mind the wobbly setup. It's in the human moments, not the perilous ones, that this book shines; and in those moments it is a beautiful, bright star. Kristen Heitzmann remains one of my favorite authors, the creator of some of my favorite characters, a dialogue expert and master of character nuance.
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